Defense sharp as Tide prepares for A-Day

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Marquavius Burnett

Defense learning new techniques

With a defense-minded coach like Nick Saban, one can expect the Crimson Tide defense to have a few extra tricks up its sleeve.

Saban likes to use his linebackers as defensive ends, he plays his cornerbacks in man-to-man coverage and he sometimes even blitzes his safeties. This year will be no different as Saban continues to preach defense as the team’s No. 1 priority.

“We can tell our defense has been doing some new things this spring,” senior offensive lineman William Vlachos said. “They have thrown some blitzes at us that I haven’t seen before. Coach Saban is the mastermind of drawing that stuff up. I’ve always felt like I have had a handle on what our defense does, but this spring they have thrown some crazy stuff at us. It’s made us a lot better, because we really have to understand our concepts to handle that stuff.”

Senior defensive tackle Josh Chapman said, “These new techniques are stuff that Coach [Saban] has already had and now he is just re-instating them with us. Some people are still trying to do things their way. Coach [Saban] has been around a long time, and if you do things his way you will be successful with it.”

 

Team has confidence in both quarterbacks

With spring practice coming to an end, the Alabama coaching staff has yet to select a starting quarterback.

Phillip Sims and AJ McCarron are still competing to be the Tide’s field general on offense and with no clear-cut favorite, the battle could very well continue into the fall. Players on offense say they will show full support to whomever wins the job.

“We are really privileged to have those two guys,” Vlachos said. “The way they have progressed this spring has been pretty amazing to me. They both are very vocal guys and they are very comfortable. They are learning what they need to do at that position for us and I have enjoyed being a leader for those guys. Whoever is our quarterback, I have full confidence in both guys.”

Senior tight end Brad Smelley said, “They both look good and they have both been getting the reps at practice. They are making good reads and throwing the ball well. They are doing everything they can do and they are competing. It’s a battle, and they both are doing really well.”

 

Players excited for A-Day

The Alabama football team will be having their annual A-Day scrimmage Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

A-Day will end spring practice for the Tide, and it will be a good opportunity for fans and coaches to evaluate players. The players are excited about the scrimmage.

“I’m really excited because I didn’t get to play in it last year,” Vlachos said. “It’s certainly going to be an opportunity for us to put together the perfect scrimmage. We have improved in each of our scrimmages and this will give everybody an opportunity to play and improve on the things they have been coached to do this spring. It’s going to be exciting.”

Chapman said, “This is my last A-Day and I want to go out on top. I haven’t lost an A-Day game yet, and I want to get this win. I’ve had steak every year I’ve been here and I like mine medium-well.”